Saturday, 27 January 2018

How hard can it be to score a penalty?

The Poppies have now missed their last 42 consecutive penalties.  Give or take.

Perhaps our penalty missers takers could do worse than have a read of this -

How the hell did we manage to win penalty shoot-outs against Corby and Northampton in the past 12-months?  And why aren't some of those successful takers lining up to have a crack?

If we weren't top of the table we'd be howling for blood......!

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Dial M for Marcus

To hear “What a waste of money” aimed at us – US! – at Merthyr certainly put things into perspective. From the viewpoint of a club who can’t afford to pay their players much if anything, even at this level, were we suddenly the cash laden moneybags that everyone should rightfully hate?  Not really. And looking at it another way, Merthyr may be down on their heels on the playing front but they play their football at a community stadium. A stadium that is compact but atmospheric with a 3G surface and seems to have had more money splashed on it (new reception area, turnstile blocks) since I last visited, whereas we – without folding and restarting as a phoenix club– are basically camping in the open air in a field in Burton Latimer.

Given the choice, would we swap our league position and ground for Merthyr’s?  Hell yes.

And to pick a random example, Hereford enjoy the huge inbuilt advantage of rebooting in a Football League standard ground whilst shooting fish in a barrel in the lower tiers.

Facilities matter.  People expect more comfort than in days gone by. Our home form this season has been spectacular but the prospect of standing at pitch level with no cover on a hilltop in winter strangely had a deterrent effect on what, in other circumstances, should have been at least a 1,500 crowd to watch 1st v 2nd on New Years Day. 

We can’t do much about that in the short term but reverting to Merthyr, I was impressed by the spirit of both players and fans. Faced with being 3-0 down after half an hour they could have collapsed but dug in and stayed competitive, whilst I liked the array of flags that gradually unfurled as the afternoon progressed. Behind one goal, a MTFC Dial M for Merthyr (memories of a long dead zine we once swopped with), a large banner declaring International Merthyrism and a smaller one referencing Atalanta, when Merthyr (then sixth tier in modern language) beat a Serie A team in European competition.  As I walked out of the ground, I noticed that the club shop was still selling stuff on the back of that. And why not.  Wouldn’t we?  If we had a shop.

But we have a team.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Wow! May have to pop up into the loft!

Lookie here!  Always thought those old issues were a great investment opportunity!

PATGOD writer moonlighting as a downtrodden wage slave

Now I'm blogging at work too, I'm really confused as to whether I'm coming or going.  Does this mean I'm supposed to work at football?  Bugger that!

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Manchester City - They're SH*T!!!!

What the hell is the average Poppies fan supposed to do now?  Not only can't their own team not win every game, (Damn you to Hell, Law!), but now, even their guaranteed winning team have now lost!

Manchester City was the safety valve, bestest second team any self-respecting Poppies fan could support.  They always win.  You don't have to worry about losing.  You can guarantee perfection, which is the very least we demand.  Nor do you have to worry about spending whole days of your life arguing with Poppies players and officials on various social media platforms.  No need.  You have a perfect, all-conquering team.!  We demand perfection dammit!  Where do we turn next?

Balls to you Guardiola.
If we wanted to support a team who
could lose and draw as well as win, we might as
f*cking well stuck with Kettering Town.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Well, thank God for Manchester City

With amusing predictability a Poppies defeat has been greeted with a howling chorus of vitriolic fury from equally predictable pockets of our online support.  Really guys, you are becoming a parody of yourselves!  Blinded by their roaring fury at their team daring not to win, they don't realise that the rest of us are also not happy when we lose.  However, the majority of us are adult enough to know that every time players take to the field there are three possible results.  Only one of which is a "win".

It doesn't mean that you are a better fan if you completely lose your sh1t whenever we lose, it really doesn't.  Demanding sackings with monotonous regularity doesn't make you look like a footballing guru - it makes you look like a tool .  Instead, perhaps, take a deep breathe, step back and reevaluate your life priorities.  If the result of 90 minutes of young men running around a field leaves you in a state of complete blinding madness, perhaps you should consider whether football is for you?

Presumably you do know that these mad, destructive thoughts aren't just in your head?  You do know that when you type something on social media it is read by others?  Surely?

Fortunately, these days, thanks to the utterly obscene amount of dodgy money flooding into the Premier League from the more unsavoury parts of the world, a solution is at hand for fans who simply cannot handle losing.

Click here for footballing heaven

Thank God you now have a choice to support a team that is pretty much guaranteed not to leave you screamingly agitated at 4.45PM.  No more annoying away defeats.  No more disappointments.  No more players earning less than a million pounds a month.  Bliss.  Now you can look at other areas of your life you can blow a gasket at - your Neighbours?  Work?  Family?  Random strangers in the street?  A female Doctor Who?  Having to wait a year for the next season of "Game of Thrones"

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
are ready to welcome you to
a perfectly safe footballing environment.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Solihull Moors - Ever so Ronery.....

As with most Poppies fans, my looking over the "Conference" scores and table is something only undertaken very occasionally these days.  The division seems evenly split between, "Wow, what the hell are they doing, slumming it in Conference National?", and "Wow, how the hell did they get into Conference National?"

The Country, yesterday
Quickly glimpsing over the Boxing Day scores, and noting all the lovely looking local derbies, my eye was snagged by the Maidenhead v Solihull Moors fixture.  Hey?  How is that a local derby?

Putting on my rarely worn "Investigative Journalist" hat, I checked further into this. It was Christmas.  I was bored.  Incredibly, at 94 miles from Solihull, Maidenhead, after nearby Wrexham (only 80 miles distant), IS Solihull's closest game!  With Wrexham drawing the similarly awful pairing of Barrow, Solihull and Maidenhead were locked together for a Boxing Day / New Years Day double-header.  It makes our old rivalry with 56-mile distant Boston Utd seem almost justifiably "local".

Further investigation beckoned. Were Solihull Borough really so far from everyone else in the National League?

A look over a map shone an unflattering light on top-flight non-league football in the centre of the country.  Where were all the clubs?  As our map ably shows, Solihull Moors have pretty much half of England to themselves.  But where are the other big Midland clubs?

A Moor, yesterday
Of the original league set-up back in 1978-79, fully a third of the division (us, Telford Utd, Stafford Rangers, Redditch Utd, Worcester City, Nuneaton Borough, and Bath City) were from the central swathe of the country.  Over the seasons other clubs such as Kidderminster Harriers, Boston Utd, Tamworth, Burton Albion, AFC Newport and Rushden & Diamonds (whatever happened to them?) all rose through the ranks to represent middle England in the top division.

Other clubs sportingly dropped out of the Football League to fill the "Midlands Quota" in the Nationwide National Top Division.  Teams like the mighty Hereford Utd, Oxford Utd, Luton Town, Cambridge Utd, Mansfield Town and even, at a push, Newport County all took temporary turns in breaking the North / South stranglehold on the "Conference".  Curiously. the enormous Eastern footballing powerhouse of Kings Lynn have never helped out.  Somehow, despite being the best team in the world, ever, they have yet to trouble the uppermost division of non-league football.  Amazing!

But, the days of the Midlands having ANY representation at the top table could be numbered.  At the moment Solihull Moors occupy the last relegation spot, several points from safety.  The North and South feeder divisions have few Midland pretenders, except, the mighty footballing outposts of Brackley and Hemel Hempstead!  God help us all!